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The Contributor, Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 17, 10 August 1907
D E N I S D PS C O U R S E S., Dear Mr Editor,- —Katie an’ Bedalia wlnt to hear Mr Trist Searell jjl'ay “The Storm” on the organ on AVkinesday night, an’ they’ve talked av nothin’ else ivir since. “Was it good?” sea 1. “Good !” ses Katie, “it was that good that the paple nearly wanted it over again, although it lashted more than a .quarter av an hour. Why, Denis,” ses she, “it was that good that ye cud hear the wind whistlin’ all over the church, an’ the audience began to shiver an’ pull the collars av their jackets up round their necks. ’ “ The ]\lethodi.sts wen always good at raisin’ the wind,” ses Corney. “It s for a good cause,” ses Katie. -#> “ ’Tis the powerful thing music is,” ses I. “Ye remind me av what happened in Ireland wance afthor a concert. The singers, delighted at an enthusiastic reception hy the audience, were tollin’ shtories av their pasht performances, an’ their high spirits possibly led them to overcolour their statemints. T was singing- a pretty song once,’ ses wan ; ‘it was called ‘Row, Brothers, Row, the Stream Runs East,’ and when I was half way through the audience were bending backwards and forwards, and 1 ‘pulling’ for alt they were .worth‘My dear chap, that s nothing.’ said another vocalist. ‘Why, at my last concert I sang ‘The East Post:,’ and the whole house began to lick imaginary stamps, and rushed out to the first pillar-box, so as to be sure and not miss the Hast collection.’ ” -f t Well, Mr Editor, I had the lime av me life at the coursin’ on Wednesday. Ye nivir saw the like av it. As last as a. hare lukt out he was shnapped up. Begorra, ye talk about iviry dog havin’ bis day—it was a case av nearly iviry dog havin’ his hare, an’ no mishtake. They all had a chance —they weren't like Timothy, in the shtory av the brothers charged wid killin’ a man. The judge was mosht anxious to ascertain from an important witness what share each av the accused had in the murder. “What did .John do?” “Tie struck him with his slick on the heath” “And .James?” “dames hit him with his fist on the jaw.” “And Philip?” “Philip tried to get him down and kick h ini.” “Ami timothy ?” “He could do nothing, my ■lord, but he was just walking round searching for a vacancy.” <s><s> -3> <s> “Sure, Katie,” ses 1,“ an’ Tis a broth av a bhoy that same Air Paape (the secretary av the Coorsin’ Club) is, annyway. They do say that he was axin’ a lady frind to go out to the coorse, but she said it was a cruel shport. an’ that- she’d heard' that the poor hares Tid cry like a child before they were caught. “Quite right,” ses our frind, “an’ wo are send in’ out a supply av pocket handkerchiefs for the poor things to cry with.” “Did hi; say that ?” ses Katie. “So I’m towld,” ses I. “Well,” ses Katie, “I hope he'd see they were lawn handkerchiefs.” “Very good, Katie,” ses I, “sure an’ ye're improvin’. See what it is to have a good partner to teach you a joke.” ses I, “an’ anyway-. I hope they'd he .rrreen wans, for the honour av 'Outd Ireland, eh ?” “1 see,” ses Katie, “that the Govornmint's goin’ to stipend more money advertisin’ the health resorts av the colony, Denis.” “They shud build more prisons.” ses I. “That’s a quare thing to say, Denis,” ses she. “It is,” ses I, “hut there’s rayson behind it, for this is what Mr Bratby, that used to be at Invercargill, towld the Governmint in his lasht report, Ses he—‘The health of the prisoners was very good. There was no sickness, except those suffering from intemperance. Whatever may be said against prison life, it is an incontrovertible fact that it is conducive to good health. Regular living, with plain, wholesome food, tells its own story.’ Now, Katie,” ses I, “there’s the whole thing in a nutshell, an’ inshtead av the nobreakfasht plan an the wan-meal-a-day idea, an’ the no-meat system, all we, want is a course av prisonlife.” “Well,” ses Corney, “we can easily qualify for that same,” so if ye hear, Mr Editor, av anny crimes bein’ committed ye’ll know the rayson why. “Well,” ses Bedalia, “ I hope Corney won’t he afther tryin’ to get into gaol, or if he does he musht draw the line at bangin’.” “I will,” ses Corney, “for I can see, Bedalia, that ye are like the young .woman that fell out wid her young
man, an’ ses he —‘lf you- don t marry me. I’ll go and hang myself in your front garden.’ She ; —‘Oh, don t do that. Father doesn’t like anybody h a n g i n g a bout.’ <$- -p Aii’ talkin’ av bangin’ about- ’twas the powerful lot av farmers was doin’ that at the ploughin’ match on VVldnesday waitin' for the judges to give their decisions. Ale ould Irind •Johnny Mitchell was to the fore, as usual—hut sure, I needn't be callin' him oulii, for he nivir seems to age a bit —he’ll be a bhoy till the ind av the chapter. ’Twas the plased man he was whin the match was over, for it’s no joke to manage a champion ploughin’ match, but if there’s wan man in the counthry to do it he’s the man. He’d manage a menagerie av wild beashls, so he wad. Ft alone a lot av ploughmen —ye'd not find him like the keeper at the Zoo. Ye see, the rector av a certain counthry parish is in the habit av takin’ his church choir for an annual outm’. On the last occasion it was to the Zoological Gardens, London. The itarty, headed by the rector, entered the lion-house jusht as a line specimen av the feline tribe reared ■him si If on his hind legs an’ came wid his fore-paws with considerable force against the bars av the cage, causin’ thim to rattle wid some violence. Turnin' to a keeper, the rector axed ‘ Pray, my man, what steps would you lake if one of these ferocious animals broke loose ?' ‘Mighty long ones, mister !” was the prompt reply.” <&■ There was another plased man on the held, an’ that was Air .Idhn Stevenson, av the Waianiwa Perseverance Implement Works, an’ wid good rayson, for sure didn’t the man usin’ wan av his ploughs come out first)t in Class C. “Yes,” ses Corney, “ye can’t bate his ploughs —they always give satisfaction to the users —they're not like the egg that Sandy ’McPherson ordered in an hotel. He wanted it harcFbuiled, an’ whin he got it an’ cracked the top, ses he ‘1 (loot the hen that laid that egg hasna been wool.’ ‘Hasn’t it been boiled long enough for you ?' axed the waiter. ‘Oh. no,' replied Sandy ; ‘ it’s no that it has been boiled lang enough, but it hasna' been boiled soon enough.,' ” <f> “They're at it again, Denis.” ses Katie. “At what ?” ses 1. “The old game av crackin’ up Dunedin at the expense av Invercargill., Lishten to this, Denis, from wan av the papers. ‘ The Tnvercargillite. apparently' cares not to stray' far from home in search of his daily crust. A local labour agent tells the Southland Times that a short time. ago two station waggoners were wanted for an easy 7 place sonic fifty miles from town. Between twenty 7 and thirty 7 men applied, but when they 7 learned whore the job was not one of them would accept it. Word was sent to Dunedin, and the position was filled in twenty-four hours.’ ” 4- * 4* “Well,” seis I, “that’s too bad ; there' might have been a good rayson why the Invercargill chaps refused- to go. The wages might have been too shmall—they. might have
been like the wans offered by the man in Southland wance. They were very shmall indade, “but,” ses he, “it s nice work —the love of it will grow on you.” “That's all very well,” ses the worker, “but boots an’ shoes, an' clothes won’t grow on me, to say 7 nothing av tucker,” an’ he up an’ cleared out.' ■<s>■ •4” 's'■ “s’■
“No,” ses Katie, “I think we ought to be pathriolic, an’ shtiefk up for Southland, like the Irishman that towld an Englishman that lieland was in Kerry, where ho came from ; or like the little gyrul that saw her brother marchin’ out av shtep wid the volunteers, an’ ses she —‘Oh, mither. look, they 7 ’re a" marchin’ wrang hut oor Sandy.’ ” “Right you are, mother.” ses Corney. “sure we ought to kape Southland to the front iviry time, an’ light as hard for her as the Scotchman did for his pence. The shtor.v goes that he was coinin’ out av Glasgow wan night whin two Trishmin waylaid him for the sake av plunder. He was nearly enough for thim both, but numbers prevailed, an’ whin they had mastered him after searching his pockets they' only found three halfpence. Said one to the other ‘Glory he to the saints, Mick, what a fight he made for three halfpence.’ ‘Oh,’ replied the other, ‘it was the mercy av the Lord ho hadn’t tuppence, or he’d have killed the pair av us.’ “Talkin’ av Dunedin.” ses Bedalia, “did ye see what that clivir magazine, The Triad, ses about the place. Mere it is :—‘Dunedin is Edinburgh spelled with a big. big D. Its climate is a Scotch air with variations. The inhabitants of Dunedin have hereditary sunburnt knees and ataste for oatmeal porridge. The great-grandfathers have worn kilts.
ami the children’s knees are tinged with brown. Dunedin people have the strength and sagacity of their forbears. and can pick up a threepenny bit or a pin with equal facility 7. This city lias the advantage of the longest penny 7 post distance to Scotland. This was the great reason for its site beink chosen for a Scotch settlement. The threepenny 7 piece is mlado to go as far in Dunedin as any 7 where. It would have to go further, but that at the end of its trip it is worn out. The threepenny Hit is as large in Dunedin as the shilling in Wellington, or as the half-crown is in Auckland. Every' third male in Dunedin is a ‘Mac,’ whether from his Scotch descent or after his patron saint ‘St. Mackintosh.’ is uncertain. The citizens boast of many' buildings of a magnificence mostly' imaginary. An analysis of the waters of the Dunedin harbour proves them to contain practically 7 the game percentage of chloride of sodium as that contained in the much-belauded Auckland and Sydney harbours. The Southern Cross can be seen in Auckland as well as in Dunedin. This makes the southern cross. The people in this city are religious, finding it easy to believe in, and prepare for, a better world after their experience of this one.’ ” ■s>- ■4’“I’m surprised at thim givin’ the
‘Southern Cross’ a free advertisejunint,’- ses Katie. “An’ I’m angry,”
ses Corney, “at thim shpakin’ av seein’ it at Auckland. Sure, it’s got a far digger circulation than that ve can see it at the South Pole, for that matt her.” “Ye mushn’t hnd fault wid The Triad, Corney,” sesi I, “or ye may come out av the encounter as badly as Mr Wood that met a neighbour named Stone wan day. He prided himsilf on his jokes an’ his shmart repartee. Few av his Kinds had escaped the lash av his tongue, an’ ho had victimised many by his practical jokes—in fact, he nivir losht an opportunity av bein’ funny. Wan day he met Stone, an’ naturally a name like that was too good a chance to miss. 'Good morning, Mr Stone,’ ses he, gaily ; ‘and how is Mrs Stone, and all the little pebbles ?’ ‘Oh, quite well, Mr Wood,’ was the reply. ‘How is Mrs Wood, and all the little splinters ?’■ 4- 4-
Did ye ivir see the like av the Southland Times an’ News for contmdictin’ ache other. On Thursday mornin’ the Times said there was an excellent attendance at the Methodist concert, an’ at night the News said that the attendance wud have been excellent but for the weather. Where does the truth lie ? But that’s not all. Mi 1 Editor. Tire News is tryiri’ to put the doctors among the unemployed, for it ses : —‘A Kansas man named Dolly, who has suffered for twelve years from rheumatism and gout, has been completely cured by being struck by lightning.’ “That’s not bad,” ses- Katie, “but for me own part I’m thinkin’ the cure ’ud be worse than the disease—it’s too much like the mushroom an’ the toadstool. ‘Mr James is very fond of mushrooms,’ ses Mrs James, ‘but I am so fearful of his eating toadstools that I almost never get them. I wish I knew a way to tell the difference.’ T know an infallible rule.’ ‘Do tell me and I shall ihe your everlasting friend.’ ‘lf you die it’s toadstools : if yon live, it’s mushrooms. DENIS.
The Contributor, Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 17, 10 August 1907
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